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On Our Side

Happy Poetry Month! Happy California Native Plant Week!! Happy Earth Day!!!

It’s all in your hands…



Long ago in 1969, a poet named Kenneth Koch wrote “…the flowers came out, and they were on our side….”

Back then, many people wanted to change the world and stop bullying each other with wars and guns and bombs. They sang about peace and being on the same side instead of different sides.


They were Flower Children with Flower Power! (Besides their groovy ideas, they wore cool clothes!)



But it wasn’t only about “Looo-king Gooood!” It was about being aware! We started celebrating Earth Day in 1970 to raise awareness about caring for our planet and protecting its fauna (animals) and flora (plants).

Humans are a type of fauna, all 7.4 Billion of us! Check out the Earth’s Population Our species has grown very rapidly at the same time that other species of animals and plants have disappeared or are threatened. People can adapt or change their behavior to help other species survive. Each year on April 22, we celebrate our interconnectedness with other living things. We think about our place in the circle of life on earth.


It’s a great day to say, “Far Out! I’m like a Flower!” Flowers don’t bloom for long, but when they come out, they’re really beautiful. Rare or common, standing alone or thronging in a field, each one says, “Look at me. I’m amazing.”

Just like a bee landing on a pollen-dusted bloom, the amazing-ness of flowers rubs off on us. A famous California writer, John Steinbeck, wrote: “Then there were harebells, tiny lanterns, cream white and almost sinful looking, and these were so rare and magical that a child, finding one, felt singled out and special all day long.”


East of Eden (1952)

Be a flower-child! Play outside in the yard. Run down the street. Walk across a field or take a trail.

When you get home, color some of these Flower Coloring Pages. Coloring Book compressed

Try this word search to find the names of flowers: wildflowers_word_find

If you want more information about California wildflowers, check out the links on this website! US Wildflowers – California


Ribsy Rescue Stories!

Happy Birthday to author, Beverly Cleary, who turns 100 on April 12, 2016. Long ago in 1950, she wrote a story called Henry Huggins.

Henry met Ribsy at a store in Portland, Oregon as he was walking home from school. Ribsy was a very hungry stray dog whose ribs were showing. Henry saw Ribsy wagging his tail and looking up at him. Henry decided to take the dog home on the city bus and that’s where the fun begins!



Did you ever rescue an animal and bring it home? Tell us where it happened, why you chose to help, and what you called your pet when you got home. Send us a picture of your pet. We will publish pictures and stories at the end of April on this blog to celebrate Beverly Cleary’s 100th Birthday!

Last day for submissions: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Send your story and pet picture to ribsyrescue@gmail.com or mail it to:  Ribsy Rescue Stories, Albany Library, 1247 Marin Ave. Albany, CA 94706

Your First Name __________________________________________

Your Library Name _______________________________________

Your Pet’s Name __________________________________________

Your Rescue Story (Write a 1-page story and take a picture!)

For more birthday fun, Drop Everything And Read a book on April 12th! Beverly Cleary was a children’s librarian and wrote Henry Huggins for kids who visited the library and wanted books about “boys like us.” Cleary continued to create stories for kids whose stories needed to be told. You probably know Ramona Quimby (Ramona and Beezus books), Leigh Botts (Dear Mr. Henshaw) and many more.


Here are some park sculptures of Henry, Ribsy and another favorite Cleary character: Ramona Quimby playing in the water! (Portland, Oregon)

Ribsy Rescue

Wookies and Smurfs say…




Find more funny stuff in your library’s Mad Magazine.

“Creative Sidekicks!” Workshop for teens and tweens

Calling all teens and tweens!

Visit an Alameda County Library branch near you and join a “Creative Sidekicks!” workshop! There are a few more workshops left!

In this awesome class, you’ll get to sew your own creature or character and take home your own sewing kit. This class is for ages 10+ and is lead by wonderful teaching artist Angie Wilson.

Take a look at some in-progress shots from a recent workshop:


“Make a Family Book” workshops have begun!

This year’s Art IS Education family workshop, “Make a Family Book,” has gotten off to a great start!

Check out a workshop at a library near you, and use instant photos, positive messages and colorful paper to make your own beautiful family book to take home. Teaching artists Cybele and Miranda (pictured above) are fun and welcoming.

We look forward to seeing you at the next workshop!

Art IS Education month!

Hello Alameda County Library community!

March is a very special time for the library, as we celebrate Art IS Education month!

art is ed pic

Art IS Education is an initiative to promote youth arts, in honor of National Arts Education Month. Every March the Alameda County Library takes part in this initiative by holding arts events of all kinds for youth and their families.

This year’s them is Creating Solutions, and we are holding over 300 arts events!

What kinds of events are happening, you ask? Check out our website, http://guides.aclibrary.org/artiseducation, for more information, including a list of books encouraging the arts and creativity, and click here for a brochure listing every event being held this month. Two system-wide events to highlight:

Creative Sidekicks” workshop for teens and tweens

Make a Family Book! workshop for families (all ages)

Contact your local library branch with any questions or for more information. We hope to see you there!

art is ed pic 2

Leap Year!

What is a Leap Year?
Leap-YearA leap year is a year that has one extra day in it. A leap year occurs roughly every four years. Most years have 365 days, but a leap year has 366 days. The extra day is added onto the end of the shortest month, February; in a leap year, February has 29 days (instead of its usual 28 days). February 29 is called leap day.

Why Do We Have Leap Years?
A year is defined as the time it takes for the Earth to orbit around the sun once. It takes the Earth about 365 1/4 days to make one entire orbit around the sun (a day is one rotation around the Earth’s axis). By adding one extra day about every four years, the Earth is in the same point of its orbit at the same time of the calendar year each year.

frog9Leap Day Birthdays
People born on leap day (February 29) can celebrate their birthday on March 1 (or February 28) on non-leap years. A person born on a leap day is sometimes called a leapling.



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